Sunday, March 15, 2015

Futures Down Another Dollar, Now Below $44 / Gallon WTI -- March 15, 2015; Boston Breaks All-Time Seasonal Snowfall Record; Kennedys Take The Kids Sledding -- Might Be Last Time They See Snow

Breaking news, being tweeted now:
Boston breaks its all-time seasonal snowfall record with 2.9 inches falling in the city Sunday, reaching a total of 108.6 inches - @7News
Hey, It's Just Cacti

Some idle chatter. Re-posting this from an earlier post:
Another great article -- Renewable Energy: The Vision and a Dose of Reality. This is another great article regarding renewable energy posted back in 2012, and nothing has changed. From the article, observations like this:
Solar power. While sunlight is renewable — for at least another four billion years — photovoltaic panels are not. Nor is desert groundwater, used in steam turbines at some solar-thermal installations. Even after being redesigned to use air-cooled condensers that will reduce its water consumption by 90 percent, California's Blythe Solar Power Project, which will be the world's largest when it opens in 2013, will require an estimated 600 acre-feet of groundwater annually for washing mirrors, replenishing feedwater, and cooling auxiliary equipment
To put 600 acre-feet in perspective, back in late 2011, it was estimated that approximately 6 acre-feet of water was used to frack a Bakken well.

So, every year from here on out, enough water to frack 100 Bakken wells will be used annually to wash those mirrors, and that's just one solar farm.

So, some more idle rambling, specifically, a deeper look at that Blythe Solar Power Project, from wiki:
  • was to be world's largest solar farm
  • originally planned to be 1,000 MW using parabolic troughs
  • reduced to 485 MW using photovoltaics
Putting the 485 MW into perspective:
  • California has mandated that 33% of the state's electricity must be from renewable resources
  • to meet that mandate, 20,000 MW of renewable energy will be needed
485 / 20,000 = 2.5%.

I knew it was bad; I did not know it was that bad.

History of Blythe:
  • the California Energy Commission unanimously approved the project on September 15, 2010.
  • the Bureau of Land Management cleared the project to go ahead on October 25, 2010.[14] 
  • in 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy offered a $2.1 billion conditional loan guarantee to Solar Trust, to reduce the interest on the $2.8 billion cost of building the first half of the project; the offer was rejected by Solar Trust. 
  • in 2011, Solar Trust of America announced that the first half of the project would use photovoltaic panels instead of solar thermal power
  • Solarhybrid is in talks with First Solar for supply of photovoltaic modules.
  • in 2012, Solar Millennium tried to sell its stake in Solar Trust to other German solar energy developer, Solarhybrid; however, this deal collapsed after all three companies filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • in June, 2012, NextEra Energy Inc. acquired the project as the top bidder
  • in 2013, NextEra Energy submitted a proposal to reduce the project size to three 125 MW sections, and one 110 MW section, for a total of 485 MW; approval was granted in January 2014
  • has not yet started construction but with Kaiser Permanente agreements in hand (February, 2015), construction should begin by 2016 -- construction needs to get started by the end of 2016 to qualify for a 30% tax credit
  • developers have been given permission to begin mowing vegetation on 4,000 acres and transplant cacti before the nesting season starts for the area's breeding bird population; full approval for NextEra's construction program has not yet gotten approval 
So, now we have some data points:
  • 4,000 acres
  • 485 MW
  • 2.5% California's mandate  
At the link:
The Blythe site holds "relatively intact native habitat" whose conversion to an industrial solar facility can potentially harm nesting birds, especially if that vegetation is cleared while birds are actively nesting in the shrubs and cacti. 
Just 12 Cents More
For Minnesota:
  • 2009 estimated qualified renewable generation: 13%
  • 2010 renewable mandate: 15%
  • 2025 renewable mandate: 25%; 30% (Xcel Energy)
  • Xcel Energy must meet 25% of its standard from wind or solar by 2020 with a maximum of 1% from solar (sic)
Some advocates are now shooting for 40% by 2030, and it would add only 12 cents a month on the bills of consumers by 2030.
The expected concerns over higher utility rates was addressed by the report, which placed the extra cost at 12 cents a month on the bills of consumers by 2030. 
Wow, just 12 cents a month.

No comments:

Post a Comment